Planning a Trip to Disney World to Explore More and Pay Less

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Planning a trip to Disney World on a budget can be tricky. If you have finally managed the holidays you have been yearning for a long time and planning to go to your dream destination in a budget-friendly way, this article might come to your help.

Dreams are never cheap. To achieve some goals, you will have to sacrifice your body and your luxury, while some will take a toll on your pocket.

Well, no matter what others say, if you want to plan a trip to Disney World, you will have to be very careful about your budget. Most of the time, it so happens that the budget exceeds.

So, if you want a guide that might help you strategize your stay and vacation, then nothing can beat the article’s utility. Stay tuned till the end of the article to know more.

Essentials of a Disney World Trip

Before hopping on to the budget section, let’s quickly look at the essentials of planning a trip to Disney World:

  • You need to set your focus on three things in the very beginning. Firstly, you need to create a “My Disney Experience” account. Explore the app thoroughly.
  • You can think about talking to a travel agent about the various strategies for booking a stay in Disney World.
  • Learning to use the Disney Crowd Calendar is a must. This will give you an idea about the tourist influx throughout the year So that if you want to avoid crowds, you can plan according to the dates!
  • The refurbishment calendars are a must-check if you don’t want heartbreak. Like it often happens, families plan to ride a particular ride, but it goes down for refurbishment for some reason. So, if you keep on checking this calendar, you will escape the wrath of heartbreak.
  • Knowledge about the various special events in the parks can also add additional visits to your to-do lists.

After these initial steps are done, stay booking is the most significant part. This forms a crucial role in planning a trip to Disney World.

At the very beginning, you should fix your budget. Often, deals and discounts are offered on many Disney resorts, restaurants, and recreations. Research about those and try to avail them.

Ideally, you should have four days for your Disney vacation. However, if you have less than five days, it’s better to skip the water parks. Also, even if the Food and Wine festivals and flower festivals are very famous, it’s wise to avoid EPCOT during these times.


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 2022 updates

While the list of essential tips will go on, we will now focus on some of the new updates in 2022.

The end-game of the Covid-19 pandemic has hopefully begun. Thus, in many countries, covid restrictions have also been loosened.

Normalcy has finally been restored in the bustling parks of Disney World. So, if you are planning to go there, this is the best time before any further wave hits and shakes the world. Before going there, check these new updates!

  • Before planning the trip, make sure you have checked the availability of the park slots in the Disney Park Pass Reservation System and you have reserved your place.
  • While transporting, masks are mandatory. However, you can choose not to wear them elsewhere.
  • Lightning Lanes and Genie+ are the new substitutes for fast passes.
  • To your dismay, dining plans are not available at this moment. However, it will get back soon!

Budget Planning

After much beating around the bush, let’s come to the central point of planning a trip to Disney World to explore more and pay less.

How to plan a trip to Disney World can’t ever miss out on this factor. But, how much does it cost for a short Disney World trip?

Before the pandemic, costs were not very high. However, there has been a rise in the budget over the years due to increased ticket prices.

Off-site stays

Here are some pros and cons of off-site stays:

  • You can save a lot on accommodation costs
  • Parking gets expensive, and it will cost you around $25
  • If you plan to travel to Orlando thoroughly, not only Disney World, staying in off-site hotels is the best
  • Cost-effective grocery stores and restaurants will be nearby.
  • You will have to book cars or taxis to travel around as transportation is not accessible for non-resort guests.

Best off-site hotels

Some of the cheapest hotels you can stay in are Rodeway Inn Maingate, which is located at a distance of 15 minutes from Disney World, and it costs $60 for a night.

Other hotels are Knights In Maingate Kissimme ($59 a night) and Rodeway Inn Kissimmee Main Gate West ($49, without a fridge).

Price Before 2022

If you are looking for the cheapest way to go to Disney World, you should drop the plan of staying in a Disney Resort.

Book a nearby motel and spend your entire day hopping and galloping around the park. This is going to save you a lot of bucks!

If we break the budget, you could have kept around $22-25 dollars for your motel stay, park tickets could have cost you about $44, and car hire and parking could be approximately $25. You could wrap your food budget within $20.

Price In 2022

However, the cost rose significantly in 2022. So, say, for example, you are planning a trip in November 2022; this can be your per-person budget break up each day.

  • Motel: $30
  • Transport: $12-$30
  • Food: $40
  • Park Tickets: $89

So, this costs you somewhere between $171-and $191 for each person each day. If you follow the rest of the article, you will see this is the budget a family will allocate for on-site stays before 2022.

On-Site Stays

No matter how costly it is, nothing can match the feel of on-site stays while being on a trip to Disney World. It’s more like getting to stay in a hostel, well within the university campus, to feel the campus life in its entirety. However, unlike university hostels, Disney World on-site stays tell upon your pocket very badly.

Here are some of the pros and cons of on-site stays:

  • The accommodation costs get higher
  • Car rentals are no longer needed as they provide you with free transportation
  • You have 30 minutes extra time to enter parks if you stay in a resort. So, to avoid long queues at Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, staying at a resort can save you time
  • 60-days early restaurant reservations are available
  • The booking or individual lightning lane starts at 7 am

Planning a Trip to Disney World to Explore More and Pay Less

Cheapest resorts

So, if you have made up your mind about staying in a Disney resort, some of the cheapest options are Pop Century and All-Stars Resort.

Price Before 2022

Due to much cost rise, the means of planning a trip to Disney World on a budget has come down significantly. Before 2022, if you desired to stay on-site, it would have cost you around $204 for each person. That is, however, a very wholesome experience. Hotel bookings and tickets can cost you about $139-$145; food might have cost you around $50-$60.

Price In 2022

This price break-up considerably shoots up in 2022. It will cost you around $77 for each person for each night at All-Star Music or Sports resort. This is the cheapest that you can get. If you go for a package that includes parking tickets and rooms, it can cost you up to $166 per person per night.

Along with this, you will have to add the transportation, food costs, and souvenir costs!

However, this budget can shoot up if you want more luxurious stays and extensive park hoppings! Otherwise, if you plan a trip to Disney World on a budget, this is the cheapest and the brightest that you can enjoy!

Planning a Trip to Disney World

Here are some aspects that will determine the cost of your vacation:

The duration of the stay

A Disney on a budget trip planning can’t miss out on the duration of the stay. Depending upon this, your budget will vary considerably.

If you do not want to keep your heart longing for more, follow the article to know the exact number of vacation days that can quench your heart’s desire to take in every essence of your dream destination.

Strategy-wise, planning a trip to Disney World on a budget should include an entire four-day stay at Disney World.

However, this is the minimum number of days you can plan if your idea is to plan a trip to Disney World on a budget.

This way, you get a full day to spend in each of the four theme parks. But, after these days are over, you will feel a little unsatisfied.

So, it is better if your trip includes a six to seven full days’ stay. In this way, you can even have adequate rest.

Enjoying Disney World will not be a burnout for you. The water parks, theme parks, Disney Springs, Disney Summerland Mini-golf, Universal Studios, and the main theme parks all get accommodated well within the vacation if you consider a stay of ten days.

Transportation Bookings

This part gets tricky while planning a trip to Disney World on a budget. Try to save adequate time before your vacation to avail cheaper flights on your journey day. You will have to get off at Orlando International Airport to reach Disney World.

The next part is selecting how to commute while you are already vacationing. If you choose to stay in the resorts at Disney World, you will not need car rentals because they offer you free transport.

However, staying off-site will require you to book a car. There are free shuttles, but they have fixed schedules too. So, it is best to allocate a limited budget for your car rentals separately.

Ticket Costs

The lowest price for tickets is in September, mid-August, February, and January. Also, if you buy for more days, the costs will hit a downward spiral.

Park Hopper

If you have a short stay and want to accommodate multiple parks in one day, a park hopper ticket is best. You can visit more than one park on the same day. If you book park hopper tickets for six days, it will cost you $735.


Genie+ allows you to skip big queues and waiting lines; it will cost you $15. However, if you plan a trip to Disney World, it’s wise to skip Genie+, arrive early, and enjoy!

Disney Genie Is Now Live – Here Is All You Need to Know

Disney Food Costs

Planning a trip to Disney World requires paying considerable attention to the food costs and budget. Restaurants offering table service can hugely affect your budget.

However, you can spend as low as $20 if you eat outside the parks in any cheap restaurant. Self-service or self-catering is also cost-effective to cut down on the food budget.

Cicis is a cheap but beautiful restaurant, but it is located outside the Disney Parks. So, you can take a little break from the humdrum of the park, have a good lunch outside, and head back there.

Even if you plan to stay in the resorts, if you are a little mindful while eating, the lowest that you can spend is $40.

Also, the cheapest restaurants in Disney World can allow you to have a budget trip while having the full Disney feeling. Let’s take some examples of foods available in some of the on-site Disney restaurants.

  • Peco Bill’s (Magic Kingdom) Veggie Rice Bowl – $9.99
  • Kusafiri’s (Animal Kingdom) large cinnamon bun- $7.49
  • Mickey Pretzel with cheese sauce- $6.59
  • San Angel Inn’s (EPCOT) Plato Vegetariano- $19
  • Columbia Harbour House’s (Magic Kingdom) Lighthouse Sandwich- $10.69
  • Iced Vanilla Latte- $5.69

So, if you eat light foods, you can still have the chance to experience dining in a Disney restaurant and savor some good light foods. In this way, your dream of planning a trip to Disney World on a budget can be a reality.

Planning a Trip to Disney World to Explore More and Pay Less

Final Thoughts

If you have read the full article, planning a trip to Disney World on a budget is no longer impossible.

Select the best time to enjoy the vacation and plan. If you follow these two basic rules, no one can defeat you in a budget-friendly Disney trip. The day is yours to conquer!

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